Ready to live in a `Nano' home?
With real estate rates not going down as fast as expected, some builders have started shrinking the size of the flat instead. This practice is especially being followed in projects beyond Mumbai. Predictably, though inappropriately, they are being sold as `Nano' flats.
Take for instance Neptune Group's project coming up in Ambivli near Kalyan. The scheme has 2 BHK flats with a carpet area of 387 sq ft and 1 BHK flats with a carpet area of 233 sq ft, which the builder is selling for between Rs 1,499 and Rs 1,599 per sq ft. In 1 BHK flats, the hall, bedroom and kitchen measures 82 sq ft, 78 sq ft and 38 sq ft respectively
. In 2 BHK flats, the dimensions are slightly bigger. "We call them Nano flats,'' said Nayan Bheda of Neptune.
Tanaji Malusare City is constructing 15,000 flats at Karjat with carpet areas of 160 sq ft, 225 sq ft, 325 sq ft and 400 sq ft under its `social housing project'. About 6,000 flats will be given for MMRDA's rental housing scheme, while the rest of the flats will be up for sale. The cost of the flats ranges between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 7 lakh. The MMRDA recently awarded similar schemes to two other developers, including HDIL, outside Mumbai.
"Though smaller flats are a big hit in the lower-middle class, according to the housing guidelines, the carpet area of a single unit can't be less than 169 sq ft. Anything smaller would amount to poor living conditions,'' said architect Bharat Yamsanwar.
Mohan Deshmukh of Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) said, "To ensure better living conditions and safety, the size of the kitchen can't be less than 60 sq ft. The size of the living room should at least be 120 sq ft. Bathrooms and toilets should be a minimum of 30 sq ft.''
"If the smaller flats, the demand for which is high in times of a slowdown, can keep the economy of builders moving, both builders and people will go for it,'' says architect P K Das. Architects and planners say affordable houses for the lower-middle income group should have a carpet area of 300 sq ft or more.
According to Ashish Ramrakhiya of Thane-based Ram Estate Consultants, builders have realised that people in Thane and Navi Mumbai have increasingly started asking for 1-2 BHK flats, a trend which was earlier restricted to Mumbai. he attributed the development to the current economic slump.
Bheda said his scheme was designed after a survey which indicated that there was a demand for such flats. In order to make housing even more affordable, he added that residents on the first three floors were not allowed the use of lifts and those staying on the fourth floor and above would have to pay maintenance to avail of the facility.
Asked if the sizes of the flats would get smaller yet if the slowdown continued, Bheda said they would not bring down the carpet area below 200 sq ft to 180 sq ft, which he felt would not be conducive to proper living.